Polishing your knowledge about the different types of lung cancer allows you to adopt a better and healthier lifestyle and manage the condition.
It is vital to distinguish between various forms of lung cancer so you can avoid misconceptions.
The mention of lung cancer is reason enough for many people to have an anxiety attack because of the debilitating effects it has on one’s health and wellbeing. What is lung cancer? In its simplest from, lung cancer is the proliferation of abnormal cells in one or both of the lungs. Rather than developing into healthy lung tissues, these abnormal cells hinder the proper function of the lungs. As the cells continue to grow, they form tumors that limit your lung’s ability to provide your body with oxygen. This form of cancer begins with a mutation, when your body system is replacing the old cells with a new batch. Ideally, each of the new cells within the body organ should be identical to each other. However, the aging process or environmental factors such as asbestos fibers, radon gas or cigarette smoke can instigate a mutation. Scientific studies show that it takes several cycles of variations to create cancer cells in the lungs. When the defective cells divide, they pass on the defect to the following generation of cells. Left unchecked, the process continues, increasing the number of unhealthy cells in the lung at the expense of your health. While there are many different types of lung cancer, they fall into two broad categories based on the form of the tumor cells under the microscope.
In small cell lung cancer, malignant cells with aggressive and rapid growth spread and establish in the lungs. Under the microscope, the cells are small and full of the nucleus, so it’s also known as oat cell cancer. It can spread quickly within the lung as well as to remote sites within the body and could prove fatal within a short while. There is a strong correlation between SCLC cases and smoking cigarettes, and it makes for about 15 percent of all cancer cases. Combined small cell carcinoma and small cell carcinoma are the most common SCLCs. Each of these cells has different ways of growth and spreading throughout the body. Lung cancer facts indicate that exposure to radon at work, high levels of radiation and smoking are some of the factors make you vulnerable to this disease.
Accounting for 85 percent of the cancer cases, non-small cell lung cancer is the most common form of cancer of the lungs, according to lung cancer facts. The tumor has three distinct cell types giving rise to three types of cancers, namely adenocarcinoma, large cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.
Comprising more than 40 percent of the non small cell lung cancer cases in the US, adenocarcinoma is the most prevalent form of NSCLC. It is one of the different types of lung cancer that affects both smokers and non-smokers, and women appear to be more susceptible. Cancer of this kind affects the mucus secreting cells of the lungs and is quite common in young people. It affects the outer layer of the lungs with a tendency to spread to the lymph nodes although at a very slow speed. In most cases, doctors can catch it before it spreads extensively. A metastatic lung cancer, adenocarcinoma often manifests as pneumonia on X-rays while spreading to preexisting alveolar walls. Nevertheless, it is one of the easiest forms of lung cancer to diagnose.
Also known as undifferentiated carcinoma, large cell carcinoma is the least common form of NSCLC, accounting for around 15 percent of the lung cancer cases. It is capable of a fast spread, and the cells appear large and round under the microscope.
Responsible for for about 30 percent of lung cancer cases, squamous cell carcinoma occurs mostly in the bronchi, specifically in the cells covering the airways. It is also known as epidermoid carcinoma. In most cases, it spreads to the lungs, although it could extend to the lymph nodes. It features enormous growth that leads to the formation of a cavity.
These are small tumors, about 4 cm in size, which occur in people under the age of 40 years. This form of metastatic lung cancer accounts for roughly 5 percent of all lung cancer cases and is unrelated to smoking tobacco. Small portions of the carcinoid tumors secrete a hormone-like substance and can spread quickly to the rest of the body. Carcinoids have a slow spread compared to other forms of lung cancer and can be successfully removable through surgery. Sometimes, it might not be possible to identify the type of non small cell cancer ailing you if the sample cells are too few. At times, the cells are too underdeveloped or under differentiated. However, this is no cause for alarm, since all the NSCLC have the same mode of treatment.
Since cancer involves a rapid multiplication of cells, a common item among lung caners facts is the possibility of malignant cells moving from one part of the body to infect another part. Bowel and breast cancers often spread to your lungs. Therefore, it is important to establish whether cancer originates from the lung or has spread to the lungs before commencing the treatment. The choice of therapy hinges on the types of lung cancer ailing you. Breast cancer cells in your lungs will respond to breast cancer treatment, and the same applies to bowel cancer cells in the lungs. Establishing the source is, therefore, crucial to instituting effective treatment and management.
Mesothelioma is one of the different types of lung cancer that develops in the tissue covering the lungs or the abdomen and affects the mesothelial cell or the mesothelium, the lining covering the internal organs of the body. It occurs following exposure to asbestos, and is one of the different types of lung cancer that are quite rare.
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